The Georgia Supreme Court today ordered a 3-year suspension for an attorney who refused to stop appealing a client’s conviction and his own disciplinary action. The court’s order lays out a 10-year chain of court battles over a client’s $400 fine and 3-day jail sentence. The court found Arthur F. Millard’s actions showed “a basic disrespect of the attorney-client relationship and … needlessly subjected his client to liability, after she made clear that she no longer desired his services.”
Former Atlanta City Attorney Clifford Hardwick IV will give up his license for six months for failing to represent a client accused of illegally downloading music. Today’s announcement marked the latest round of intrigue for Hardwick, who had been disciplined twice previously by the State Bar and who was shot and critically injured in a Cascade Road Starbuck’s in 2008.
The Georgia Supreme Court, for the second time in two months, has told the State Bar to get tougher with lawyers who break the rules. In a unanimous decision, the high court today rejected a reprimand for a lawyer who used falsified documents in a personal injury case. Justice David Nahmias, in a 17-page concurring opinion, picked apart Nerrylle Manning-Wallace’s account of her actions and the bar’s rationale for going along with a reprimand for her.
Atlanta’s ethics board can fine employees who accept improper gratuities. But a staff attorney contends the panel can’t touch him for enjoying expensive meals bought by opposing lawyers. Why? Because, senior assistant city attorney Robert N. Godfrey says, he answers to a higher power — the State Bar of Georgia. Read on…
The Georgia Supreme Court today told the State Bar it was too easy on a lawyer who took $493,000 from his employer. The court rejected a six- to 12-month suspension for Michael J.C. Shaw. The Bar’s recommendation miffed Justice David Nahmias, who wrote that he believes most lawyers and “almost every citizen in this State would be equally disturbed by that concept of attorney discipline.”
Three lawyers — including one who used to prosecute other lawyers for ethics breaches — are finalists for the top job at the State Ethics Commission. They are Gene Chapman, 52, former discipline counsel for the State Bar of Georgia; Bryce Farbstein, 37, who manages the Judicial Election Reform Campaign for Common Cause of Georgia; and Stacey Kalberman, a specialist in insurance regulatory law.
Federal prosecutors announced action in two unrelated Ponzi schemes this afternoon: Former McDonough attorney Steven H. Ballard, 53, was sent to prison for five-plus years for a scam that netted more than $1 million, and former Hoschton mortgage broker Edward William Farley, 47, pleaded guilty to fraud charges involving more than 150 victims and $20 million in losses. Farley will be sentenced in February. Read the news releases…
Sonny Perdue on Thursday named former U.S. attorney Kent Alexander, now general counsel at Emory University, to one of five seats on the State Ethics Commission. Alexander’s appointment gives the commission a full membership as it prepares to name a new executive secretary to replace Rick Thompson, who steps down in a few weeks. The commission expects to interview finalists for the job at its Oct. 15 meeting.